[Editor's Note (March 2016): This will mark my second re-write of this article. Now that I've written over 50 of these Eaglemoss vs. The World articles, I feel like I've developed a certain style and flow to the articles and I wanted to make all of them have that same feel across the series. Consider this the REFIT version of the original article.]
The first of these special ships is not a ship at all, but rather a space station. I am of course talking about Deepspace Nine.
My Deepspace Nine collection consists of an Eaglemoss, a Furuta, a Hallmark and a MicroMachine model.
MicroMachine of course was able to produce a version of the station.
Furuta vs. MicroMachine AND Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark
As I started getting into collecting and wanting to expand my collection, I found a serious lack of comparative data out there showing the various small scale pre-built and pre-painted ships available to the collector. And so I set out to provide this information myself and hopefully help someone make a wiser decision in which model to buy.
And now, time for what I call the "Gravy Shot" which is the ultimate purpose of this article.
Traditionally, I would give you a size comparison of the three remaining manufactured ships, however, Furuta's model is not that much bigger than it's MicroMachine counterpart.
Furuta vs. MicroMachine
MicroMachine vs. Furuta
Eaglemoss and Hallmark are closer in size though so here is some comparative shots of those two.
Eaglemoss vs. Hallmark
Hallmark vs. Eaglemoss
The one big notable differences between the these two are that Hallmark's model comes with a base while Eaglemoss does not. The Hallmark one can also support auxiliary ships which could be purchased separately. AND Hallmark's model also lights up... sort of...
From a distance, the model just looks plain and uninteresting. Up close though is where you can see the true attention to details that Eaglemoss has put into this thing. The sculpted and molded in details all over this model are intricate and just downright simply amazing to look at. And the painting is just as impressive. Eaglemoss went all out in thier detailing of the little but yet important areas of the station, like docking ports, panels and runabout landing pads. In fact, you can clearly make out the promenade windows on the central hub, and they even detailed the sensor arrays on the station.
The fusion reactor on the bottom of this model is a thing of beauty. Their use of the clear red plastics in this area was great in that it added some nice highlights to it.
As far as finding the join seams, I couldn't, they are faultless. Great work there Eaglemoss.
NOTE: The next paragraph of my Eaglemoss review was originally written back in February 2015. I really don't know how good Eaglemoss is these days with ordering the specials as I continue to order mine from my reliable source. I would love to hear back from anyone who has ordered this model recently and see if there has been an improvement.
One of the lessons I learned from my collecting of Eaglemoss ships is that the specials are a harder item to get via the subscription. I read horror stories of it taking months to get this model after paying for it. There have also been stories of it being broken when it arrives. I opted to buy mine outside of the Eaglemoss subscription service from a third party. I probably paid about $10 more for it, but I didn't have any waiting for it. Since that worked out so well for me, I went this route and ordered the next two through the same source. The other plus side of doing it this way was I didn't have to wait until they decided I could buy it.
What I find interesting though is that some of the Furuta toys have become somewhat rare and as such, often are more expensive than thier professionally made counterparts. Luckily this model is not one of them.
I say all of that because this really isn't that special of a model. The molded details are... OK. The painted on details are kind of lacking. The overall look and feel is just kind of blah. I would almost say that the MicroMachines version is better.
The 2001 Hallmark ornament is very well done. The sculpted and molded details as well as the painted details are actually quite good and compliment each other very nicely. I could not find anything physically wrong with this model.
It has a eye hook on it to allow you to hang it on a tree, however, the model draws it's power from the battery powered base so if you wish to light it, you will need to leave the base attached, which takes away from the beauty of it on your tree.
When you press the button on the base, the reactor on the station lights up and you hear Captain Sisko speak. My one wish would be that you could just turn on the light without having him speak. Perhaps a second button to hear his voice would have been a better idea.
This model also had hooks in it that allowed you to hang min-starship ornaments off of the station. Hallmark produced two sets of these ships which gave you enough to hang something on all six of the hooks. The first set was called the Ships Of Star Trek and was released in 1995. This set consisted of a TOS Enterprise, the Enterprise D and a Klingon Bird Of Prey. The second set was released in 2001 and was called Starfleet Legends and it consisted of an Enterprise E, a Voyager and a Defiant.
1995 Ships Of Star Trek
2001 Starfleet Legends
Although these mini ships are not to proper scale, I think it adds a little extra something to the Hallmark station that makes it cool to look at on your shelf.
So in the end, I think the Hallmark station is a nice buy. If you invest in the extra ships, I think it becomes an even better collector's item.
And that wraps it up for the comparison and review part of my article. Which brings us to the pricing portion of my article. As usual, I will continue with the tradition of rounding up the most inexpensive Buy-It-Now prices from eBay at the time of this article's writing.
Eaglemoss = $60
Furuta = $20
Hallmark (Without Ships) = $45
Hallmark 1995 Ships Of Star Trek = $10
Hallmark 2001 Starfleet Legends = $33
Micro Machine = $10
We now come to the part of my article where I give you my opinion of which ship gives you the "best bang for the buck", which is my rough way of telling you which one is the best buy.
This time around, it's a little more of a tough call that I'll leave up to you, the reader.
Eaglemoss is by far the better detailed model. However, you can't deny that having the Hallmark light up version would be cool as well. And they are both pretty competitively priced, for what you get with either model. If I had to only choose one, I would probably go with the Hallmark one and then start saving my money to invest in the mini ships. I still like looking at that model with all of them hanging on it.
Anyway, I hope you found this article useful and informative. Please feel free to leave any comments, questions or suggestions below.
So for now, "Live Long And Prosper!"